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- Understanding Sexual Violence: A Graduate Student's Perspective
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Year in Review: Shining the Spotlight on Two Engaged ABN Members
The Active Bystander Network (ABN) is a part of the SVSPO, a student group that works towards addressing all forms of sexual violence at SFU and promoting a greater understanding of awareness of the issue. The ABN provide outreach initiatives, events and workshops to increase student awareness and understanding of sexual violence. I want to take a moment to shine a spotlight on what the ABN does, and two individuals who have spent a great amount of time and energy on making the program a success this year.
Meet the ABN
Sukhleen is a 4th year Criminology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Study joint major student, and she got involved with ABN because she believed that it was a “great student-based organization that would enable her to educate the SFU community about very important issues”. She has been involved with ABN since September 2017.
Jennifer is a 3rd year Psychology student and she got involved with ABN because she was “passionate about sexual violence work” because she has friends who have been impacted by sexual violence. She has been involved with ABN for 2 years.
What does the ABN do?
Sukhleen has helped with many events and initiatives over the last year. She helped create online modules that will be available for students and faculty. In addition to this, she helped with various outreach duties. In carrying out her tabling duties, she would often be interacting with students and staff in a variety of manners – whether that be simple engagement, playing games relating to consent and sexual assault/prevention and awareness, or answering questions. Sukhleen also presented a workshop for fraternities and sororities on the SFU campus.
Jennifer has also helped out with tabling. Recently, she has been working with another ABN member on ways to assess workshops that have been done by the SVSPO/ABN members in order to get feedback from those who have attended.
One of Sukhleen’s favorite moments with the ABN over the past year was the workshop she hosted. Having the opportunity to educate others, as well as learning from them, is something she is passionate about.
One of Jennifer’s favorite things she did in the past year with ABN was tabling. She stated that despite not having contact with a lot of people during tabling duties, she felt that she was able to make an impact with the individuals that she did come into contact with.
Sukhleen’s favorite ABN memory pertains to a workshop that she was able to experience. She stated that she believes it is always great to learn about different perspectives and to be able to apply new knowledge to the work she does as an ABN member.
When asked what her favorite ABN memory was, Jennifer’s expressed her appreciation for ABN team meetings. She always enjoyed seeing the ABN members and catching up. Before she joined ABN, she didn’t know many people at SFU. Now, she feels that ABN is her family.
Sukhleen learned that everyone learns differently, and at varying points in time. She hopes to help those that are learning along the way and to make the process as safe and comfortable as possible for them. She also gained facilitation skills that she will be able to use going forward for presentations, workshops, and general public speaking.
Jennifer has had a positive experience learning how to effectively respond to disclosures. She feels that this is an important skill, and she feels confident in her abilities to do her duties as a result.
Sukhleen shares that it is important to meet people where they stand. She reiterated that she believes people learn at different points in their life, and instead of dismissing them for their lack of knowledge on a certain topic, to try to understand them and to do what you can to help them in their unique learning process.
Jennifer believes that an individual should not be afraid to share his/her ideas. She states that everyone involved is just as passionate as you are about sexual violence work; your ideas will be well received by others.
When asked about her summer plans, Sukhleen said she will be taking four courses, working, and balancing two volunteering gigs. At the end of August, she hopes to travel to New York City.
Jennifer is travelling to Mexico, Whistler, and Kelowna. She hopes to learn how to swim this Summer.
The ABN is a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. You could be a part of the ABN too and work alongside people like Sukhleen and Jenn to create a culture of consent, care and respect at SFU. Learn more about how you can get involved.